Jennifer M. Ward
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I write contemporary fiction, nonfiction stories, and blog posts about life, books, and creativity. Connect with me on Twitter @jennwardwrites or find me here: https://jennifermarieward.com/
Discovering Found Families
“But none of that really mattered. I had found my tribe. It felt like a family reunion for the family I'd never really known, a homecoming at the place where I was always meant to be but hadn't known how to find.” – David Levithan, Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story
The Value of an English Degree
Many of us who were English majors might have heard: “Well, I guess you could always teach,” or “Are you sure a degree in English is worth it?” While I was an undergraduate student in my twenties, I was questioned a lot, and it didn’t feel good. There were times I doubted how useful my degree would be in post-graduate life. Would I end up working as a barista? I hoped not. The angst of figuring out what I wanted to do career-wise was part of it. Though I’ve wondered why we often question the valuable skill set we acquire with an English degree and all that we have to offer the world. Today, I argue that those of us with English degrees hold a remarkable advantage over everyone else—we can write.
The Softer Side of Tupac Shakur: Poetry, Life, & Wisdom
When most of us hear the name Tupac Shakur, we think of 90s rap music and a rather tough exterior. But underneath that hard shell lies a much softer side of him that few people realize existed. After his death, some of his most intimate, hand-written poems, including a book of his childhood poetry and illustrations, were uncovered. His poetry, which is quite heartfelt and profound, offers a window into his personal life, allowing us to see far beyond his hip-hop persona. While the lyrics in some of his rap songs were offensive enough to insult most women and anyone he hated, his poetry is quite the contrast with his music and the image he portrayed.
Five Books Every Writer Should Own
Writing has always been part of my life in one way or another. As a child, my journey began with writing short stories and poems about family summer vacations. As a teenager, I kept a journal for many years, writing about crushes and teenage drama. Today, I’m grateful that I can say it is a daily part of my life. As most people would expect, I write a lot as an English Teacher and an MFA student. But I also spend substantial time working on my creative writing. Whether our passion is technical writing, copywriting, creative writing, or something else, as writers, we never stop improving our craft or looking for work.
A Playlist for Writers Who Like to Run...or Walk
Before I became sick with COVID last May, I loved to walk and do interval jogging. Fitness has always been a big part of my life. I did it all—aerial yoga, Zumba, dance yoga, HIIT, cardio kickboxing, vinyasa yoga, cheerleading, track, aerobics, Pilates, Peloton, personal training, and of course, the treadmill. Unfortunately, I haven't recovered enough yet to do these intense workouts. I am grateful that I seem to be improving and can go for short walks. Who knows? Full recovery might not be too far off in the distance.